Sunday, May 19, 2019

Lawn Chairs



The Adirondack chair seems to be uniquely eastern US but I have seen them in other countries. They were apparently created in 1903, and you can look up the history of the Adirondack chairs yourself.

Decades ago the wooden ones were very expensive and too heavy to transport easily so I was glad to see these. Now we common folk can have them.

The style has  made a comeback in vinyl, which makes it lightweight to move around, and waterproof;  perfect for this part of the country where the weather forecasters cannot even predict the downfalls. The furniture is lightweight enough that weak-wristed and weak arm people can move them around and store them, stack them, carry them, etc. They can also be repainted with a brand that adheres to plastic and vinyl.

I found these at a local farm supply store for $15.00 each and if they go lower in price, I am thinking about getting some more.  Hmmm....What about sewing a dress from a 1903 replica pattern to go with these chairs. What do you think? Those chairs make this old house look less abandoned. The lawn needs mowing but it is still raining but the chairs look good.


You can see behind the chairs the garden that has still not been weeded or planted, due to the torrents of rain and the cold, but I am quite happy to let it go and tend to the "hot spots" that have accumulated indoors.
The chair color seems to almost match the green trim on the window sills, but not quite. The chairs are more of a mint color, while the paint on the windows is  a sage green called "English Meadow."  

If we ever get a dry day, it will be nice to sit here and look out.


They also come in red and blue, plus some tans and wood colors, but the only ones left were these sage or mint green ones, which is just fine with me. 

Today I would like to thank my "sponsors" --those of you who donate a dollar or more, and also those who encourage me with their comments and their prayers. I hope I can continue to edify and encourage back to you, through this blog.

I am still hoping to talk to you with a video and formulating the talk in my mind so hopefully it will be here the next time you check in. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Curtains for You


Hello Ladies,

A short post today to share new curtains.  
These are no-sew, and you can do it too, if you ever need a change.



One of our local merchants had a sale on sheets.  I bought two sets of twin sized for $13.00 each to get two panels.

These are very thin fabrics and allow light to come in while framing the window just right.

Snipping a little place at each end of the hem was all that was needed to insert the rod. 

When I need another change of color, I will see what is available in curtains. I plan to change the dining room curtains and table cloth too.


The sheets were a little too long so I used the 1990's style of 
letting them drape beautifully in each corner on the floor.  I seem to recall it was called 'puddling.' Good grief, that was in the last century, wasn't it?






The pillowcases covered the chair pads adequately and made a perfect match with the curtains. The two twin fitted sheets covered the large cushion on one of the settees and another chair.

This technique might look good in blue, yellow, gray, or other available colors.  



Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Waterfall Fashion and Wildflower Pic-ing


For some time, I have been wanting to finish my waterfall dress, from fabric Mr. S. saw and liked (and bought) when we were in Hobby Lobby last year.



We arrived at the falls at 6 a.m. because we were on our way to another destination and we didn't want to interfere with the tourists around these falls. As it happened, there wasn't anybody about and we were able to take a couple of quick photos before we embarrassed ourselves  taking pictures of each other in front of other people 🙂

The only thing missing in these scenes was waterfall tea but I've never seen a teacup with a waterfall on it.  I will do better when it is time for the wildflower tea after I get the dress finished.


I can imagine you are saying, "Mrs. Sherman, there is no such thing as waterfall fashion," but my answer is: There is!! You can see it here!!! I know, because I made it up!! So, there you go!  And if you say, "No expert fashion designer has ever had a waterfall fashion," my reply is that they better get busy if they want to grasp the opportunity, but I do understand: there is so much scenery and so little time to keep up with it all.  

If only the dress looked as good on me as it does on the dress-form.

You can see the waterfall scenes on this fabric.



You see behind the dress Mr. S.'s oil painting of the mountain. He says I'll have to have to sew a mountain fashion to go with.

You have to be careful when laying out your pattern on a scenic print, as to where some of the scenes will go.  In this case, the water scene ended up right on my stomach, which wasn't flattering, but it is going to be one of my garden and house dresses, so not to worry. You can see in the waterfall picture where the lake lights up on the upper part of my tummy! However there was so little of this fabric ( I had to piece the back from scraps because we got the end of a bolt that apparently was not re-ordered)  I had to let it be as it turned out.

Here is the water scene and some of the flowers on this print.
 It was rainy and still a bit dark when we were taking photographs, so we aren't in the best light.  I'll be posting more photos as time allows.

Further on our drive we stopped for a walk among wildflowers, which looked like bouquets already arranged!










Costs: cotton scenery print fabric: 4 yards @ $4.00 p.y. $16.00
Thread $2.00
Zipper $2.00
Rick-rack trim $3.00
elastic for headband - 25cents
(plenty left over on the thread and trim for other projects)
Umbrella --new at Goodwill for $7.50

Total for dress: $23.00

Thank you to my Sponsors who donated so generously to make this dress and little outing possible!

Please check back to find more photos added here today, plus more of my commentary about wearing this dress yesterday.

My next project is a shirt for Mr. S. from this print at HL and maybe a dress, for our weekly "hours trip" to a certain location.


Luke 12:27
 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,[a] yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

More photos of the waterfall/wildflower print dress:











Sunday, May 12, 2019

Every Day is Mother's Day

Henry Salem Hubbell (American artist, 1870-1949) Tea Time.

As we mature, we try to keep in mind the attitude of being kind and respectful, and so Mother's Day ought not to be relegated to bringing flowers and out to eat once a year. Mothers need their children in life daily throughout the year, not just a plant or a bouquet on Mother's Day.

Many of us are without out our mother's on this day, but we appreciated their love and their beauty, and their efforts toward us while we were with them, perhaps even more-so now, as we remember so many things they did for us and with us.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Changing Things Around


A change is as good as a vacation, they say, and I thought I would try it. They were right. After re-covering the furniture, it feels as though I've been transported to a guest house. Now to get the maid and butler to show up.

This is a house full of our Grandmother's furniture and everyone else's grandmother's furniture, and that is why I am always looking for new and interesting covers for it.

One of my readers gave me the fringed blanket which covers Grandma's chair, as you see, on the left. Another dear reader and friend gave me the cotton quilted bedspread and two pillow covers. I call this color "blush" pink and I'm liking it very much.



One of the covers makes a nice decorative cushion for the middle of the couch, and the other cover looks great as a runner on the mantel.

The cute rose shaped rug on the floor there is a bath mat from Walmart, washable, and although I had eyed it early in the year, it was just too high priced. The rugs were recently reduced to $7.00 and there was only one left. It is just the right shade to go with the blush accessories in my living room change over.

I do have some things on the sewing machine to show you soon,  for a little "hour-trip" we are taking. We aren't doing day-trips as much, since we have so many obligations at home, but  hour-trips are  just as refreshing and not as tiring or expensive.

painting by Albert Lynch

Conversation Courtesy
Today I have been thinking about the problem of being courteous to others when in a group, whether it is the family, church members, or others.

One thing that has stood out to me is the habit some have of monopolizing conversation, and the other thing is going into the minutest  details and holding others hostage with long, boring descriptions of things that really don't matter, that you aren't dying to know, and that you don't want to remember.
Top that off with monotone syrup and you've got a recipe for clenched teeth and brain trauma!

I sometimes think this comes from the days when you had to learn to read in a group, and some of the fast readers had to sit and listen to others taking their turn reading something ten times slower, and without even a hint of inflection in their voices. In the meantime, some of the more energetic students grew bored and got into trouble because they just could no longer sit still and wait for the sentencing to end.

We are supposed to learn about polite conversation in childhood, but we forget. I think in church groups, ladies ought to be especially mindful of other people's physical limitations (hearing loss, health, attention span, time constraints) and make sure that what is said can be heard and digested quickly and not keep anyone standing unbearably too long, while we make them hear us out.

Too often, and not just among the young, someone thinks their subject is going to make everyone stand at astonished attention, while they recite their  electrifying struggle with some financial challenge or a technical problem.

Occasionally a very clever individual can make you laugh with ridiculous descriptions of said calamities,  but most of the time it is agony to listen to the story, or so I have been informed, and people are too polite to walk away when someone is engaged in a long, tedious talk about the tiniest details of something or other.

I do not recall the name of an old novel where someone referred to "the talking aunts",  but possibly it was Mr. Knightly in the Miramax production of Jane Austen's "Emma."

Not only should our speech be edifying, it should build one another up, leave them happier and inspired, and feeling their creative best.

The opposite is true when someone launches into a deadening description of how something works or how it didn't work. It leaves the hearer in emotional paralysis,  particularly when the hearer did not express any curiosity about the subject.  I have heard tell, that ladies have to rest practically comatose in front of a soothing movie just to recover from the mind flogging they've been through when a lady decides to go into a long, insignificant description of something of non-interest. Please note the ending of this post where I leave a quote of someone doing this.

Let us be careful that what we say is uplifting and  encouraging, and helping others succeed in life, not about how bad everything is, how nothing is good, all is lost, there is no hope, etc.  It is a terrible way to raise children, and creates a very depressing atmosphere for teens, who, at that age, need to enjoy learning about life.

I could say more about it, but I'm sure you all have your own stories to tell about how someone kept you captive, perhaps even blocking the exit, while they told a very unadventurous story of something that didn't  matter to you.

In the 1980's, in response to the sad slipping of societal manners, there were books such as "Finishing Touches" by Anne Oliver, and "Miss Manners Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior" by Judith Martin,  and "Miss Manners Basic Training: The Right Thing to Say", also by Judith Martin.  These also helped the more shocked segment of society deal with the awful things people say, including the talker who holds her victim at the door to listen to a detailed description of how she tried to find a book in a pile of old books.  There was also a book by Emily Hunter called "Christian Charm Course" for young girls, which had a few conversational pointers and some reminders about delaying people by talking too long.

 These manners books made us all a little more self-conscious about the way we talk, what we talk about, and how our audience responds.  I haven't seen a manners book in decades, but maybe I'm missing something.

I remember seeing an old, old movie called "Auntie Mame", and although I don't think everything in it was "nice" or appropriate,  I do remember a young woman telling a very detailed story when others in the company were relating dramatic life-changing happenings. When no one commented or laughed after her description of what she thought was horrific, she said, "Well, it was ghastly. Just ghastly."

Here is the quote:

Gloria Upson Bunny Bixler and I were in the semi-finals - the very semi-finals, mind you - of the ping-pong tournament at the club and this ghastly thing happened.

 We were both playing way over our heads and the score was 29-28.

 And we had this really terrific volley and I stepped back to get this really terrific shot.

 And I stepped on the ping-pong ball! 

I just squashed it to bits.

 And then Bunny and I ran to the closet of the game room to get another ping-pong ball and the closet was locked! Imagine? We had to call the whole thing off....(astonished silence on the part of the listeners)

 Well, it was ghastly. Well, it was just ghastly.
******

 Of course the descriptions in this blog post can be equally as boring to some people, but at least there are pictures, and if you prefer neither, you can easily escape.


Sunday, May 05, 2019

Blossom Fashion--Lilac Dress and Coat

Lady With Lilacs
by Edmund Blair Leighton (English)
1901


Hello Ladies,

Getting used to a new phone is more trying that I imagined, and the pictures came out very small and didn't get the beauty of that lilac bush. The small ones of me wearing the purple dress do not enlarge, but the others do enlarge, so be sure and click them.  After the next sewing project I will have figured out the picture taking and transferring. My old phone wasn't working well, and it will take time to get used to this one.

It is too much trouble to do another fashion shoot, and Mr. S. is not a fashion photographer, preferring to take pictures of vintage cars. I told him I was a vintage lady but he wasn't interested in standing still for too long.


I chose the color of the garment to go with the lilacs, which are on their last days of bloom.


 I had been wanting to try this pattern, and I like the price of New Look, which is usually under $3.00.  The pattern was fairly easy to sew if you are used to the princess seams, and the coat was very very simple, but I thought the sleeves were quite boring so I'm going to get a sleeve from another pattern when I make the coat again, and make a great big billowing sleeve 😍.


Coats are my interest right now and I enjoyed this easy pattern, but of course would do some things differently if I try it again.  I'll be changing the sleeves on the coat, since I like big puffed sleeves,  and I'll be making the neckline on the dress a little different.





 A few years ago I watched the Hallmark movie, "The Magic of Ordinary Days," which was filmed in Canada. Note: I didn't care for the entire theme of the story but I loved the setting, the costumes, the inside of the house, the land. The story was about a lonely farmer living by himself on the family farm, who marries a woman who had been jilted (and was pregnant).  The film did a good job of showing the love the father had for the baby, even from the beginning. He was grateful to have a wife and a family to keep him company and she adjusted to living a different life and grew to love it. In those days the farmland was so vast, it took an entire day to drive around it, and this was just one of the things Livvy found interesting.

I was very drawn to Livvy's purple hat and suit, and have had it in my mind to make something similar. I like the purple gloves too!  I will take an old white pair and dye them that color, if I ever get around to it. 

I thought it was remarkable that she wore this outfit  on her train journey to her new home on the farm. Maybe people will start dressing up again when they travel.
Here is my interpretation of Livvie's outfit, part of it shown in the screenshot below;



These are the accessories I made to go with the outfit. I wore the fascinator (in the picture below, right) to church today. I prefer the fascinators (floral headbands) to hats. Hats fall off more easily and are too big.


This is the dress on the dress-form. I didn't care for the neckline as it wasn't very interesting, so will not be using this pattern again, although I like the coat.


I added elastic to the sleeve cuffs because it looked better.

I have the same print in pink (I call it a honeycomb print) and aqua, and I notice there is a green one at Walmart. I also have the solid fabrics to match, so I am looking forward to making more coats and dresses co-ordinates like this. 
Also, I made a little brooch with some artificial lilacs and stuck them on the coat with velcro.  I added the tie in the front; it was not included in the pattern. 

Because the fabric is a natural cotton fibre, it is a bit more wrinkled, but I don't mind pressing it with a steam iron.  

Purple seems to go well with fog, so I'm calling this a fog fashion as well as a blossom fashion.

Materials and Prices:
4 yards Print lilac "honeycomb" fabric by Waverly, all cotton, $3.85 per yard -$16.00
4 yards solid color lilac, Waverly, cotton $2.85 p.y. - $12.00
Lilac Thread $2.00
White Thread $2.00
Zipper - $3.00
Artificial Flowers $1.00
Hair Band 25 cents
Hair barrett
 25 cents
Hat - $1.00
Feather scarf $1.00
Elastic - 50 cents

I went all out on this one,  with a total price of  $38.50, but I have two garments, each costing about $18 each, including supplies leftover.

And, you all know about that high-end store where I got all the Waverly fabric and notions so I won't mention the name. I did get some fabric at Hobby Lobby, which I find is the same low price once their discounts are applied, so I'll be enjoying showing some of their excellent fabric.

I had a lot of left-overs and of course the thread and other things can be used for other projects.

This is a home dress. It was not created to be fashionable or impressive. I wanted to make something to wear at home that would be cheerful and lightweight.  

Today I wore it to church, but that was because it was new. I usually wear a newly sewn dress to church first, and after that, it becomes my work-at-home dress, while I make another one.

Here are some more pictures of Livvy's lilac outfit  in "The Magic of Ordinary Days":
You know of course I only watch movies for the costumes and the interiors and old trucks. 😊


I tried to zoom in and see the shape of the coat neckline so that I could create it on my own coat, but decided it would be less time-consuming just to follow the straight lines of the pattern. I do like that neckline on the coat.  I think the dress and the coat are the same, or similar patterns, particularly the necklines.


Ever since I saw this 1940's costume in the movie, I have wanted to make it. It has been 13 years since it was produced and now look, I've finally sewn something like it.  It took me only a couple of days to make it, so I don't know what held me back all this time. Life kept interfering with my plans!



Here is another dress from the movie, which I think is the same pattern as the purple one. 





 Please leave a comment and let me know what you think or feel about this outfit. I am already getting ready to cut out something else, and of course, it will be designed to go with something that is happening around here.

Not to be out-done, Mr. S. wanted me to post pictures of ties he wore to church:


Now recently, I had a birthday and Mr. S. wanted to take me out to eat. I woke up not feeling well enough to do much and was simply unable to get the energy to go out. I told him to go out and get some dinner, since I didn't feel like cooking. He answered, "I'd love to go out to eat, but I'm going to have a hard time explaining that I'm out celebrating my wife's birthday."

He offered to stop on the way home at the grocery store and get anything we needed, so he took a list with him. He brought home a few things that weren't quite the right item, and when he saw my disappointment he asked, "Will it help if I sing to you?"

We were sitting in the living room and a bird hit the big front window.  Mr. S. said,"Why do so many birds hit that window?"  I told him how astonished I was to hear him ask that question. "You have several degrees and are a graduate of the U of__" I said, "How can you not know something like why a bird flies into a window?" (One reason I was skeptical of the U of__)
He answered, "I didn't study birds at the U of --"

I don't want to give you the name of the University, because I don't want you to think negatively of the place.


Have a look back here today and see if I was able to post a new picture of the dress (with me in it), in front of the lilac bush before the blossoms fade. Mr. S. has put it in his daytimer schedule book, and I have top billing before he charges into his day.

I really struck out with the photos. It was a first time using my new phone and I haven't got used to the settings yet. Sorry, ladies, but this is the only photo I got of that dress and coat , or "pelisse" if you will.  It was too early in the day for pictures,  and the colors of the lilacs in the foreground aren't showing very well, but one must take what one can get. I'm wearing the fascinator with the outfit but the picture does not show it very well.


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